USA Coach Dave Sarachan admitted they faced a good team that required a lot of defending in their 1-0 defeat to Italy.
Italy dominated the game in Genk with numerous chances and 73.4 percent possession, but only scored with a last-gasp Matteo Politano strike.
“We played a good team, who step on the field with a real confidence about them and we knew that there would be a lot of defending tonight,” Sarachan said in his Press conference cited in football Italia.
“I thought the guys competed great tonight. It’s an important element for the progress of this team going forward, when you step on the field, you have to win your duels and battles. It might not be fun defending a lot and being on the back foot, but I thought, for the most part, the guys put in a great shift.
“On the flipside, it once again exposes our ability to be a little calmer and cleaner on the ball, to possess the ball, so the balance of defending versus having the ball was pretty great.”
This result comes days after a 3-0 loss to England at Wembley.
“We knew this fall series was going to be ambitious. It wasn’t easy coming here playing an away game, but the guys learned a lot tonight and so did I.
“Ethan Horvath had a great night and made some great saves. Ethan was given an opportunity tonight and came up pretty big for us. He was Man of the Match and did really well.”